Omega-3 Fats

7 Tips for Sticking With Your New Vegan Diet

Maybe you’ve decided to jump right into a vegan diet or maybe you’re dipping a toe in the water and opting for a gentle transition. Either way, there are lots of things that newbie vegans can do to make their diet feel more practical and sustainable for the long run.

1. Embrace your cooking style.

In their annual click bait story on the “best” diets, US News and World Report suggested that eating vegan means spending lots of time in the kitchen. This is a poorly-informed and limited view of veganism.  […]

By |2017-11-01T17:17:56-04:00January 16th, 2017|Tags: , , , , |13 Comments

Taking Responsibility for the Health of Vegan Children

peanut butter on toast for kidsNo doubt you’ve heard about the legislator in Italy who is proposing to make it illegal to raise kids as vegans. Italian lawmaker Elvira Savino wants to see jail sentences of up to seven years for parents who feed their children only plant foods.

The proposed bill describes veganism as “a diet devoid of elements essential for healthy and balanced growth,” It’s ludicrous. Given what we know about nutrient needs, there is no reason to think that children of well-informed vegan parents are at risk for […]

By |2016-08-18T09:57:38-04:00August 18th, 2016|Tags: , , , |13 Comments

Vegan Diets are Dangerous? Here is What the Research Really Says

Messina Plant PlateDoctors at the Cleveland Clinic suggest that vegans should know something about diet planning in order to make sure they are meeting nutrient needs.

Their conclusions were published in the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The paper doesn’t say anything that is particularly alarming, and, with a few exceptions, there isn’t much in it that I would take issue with.

But the Cleveland Clinic press-released the findings, giving the media a chance to scaremonger about vegan diets—and you know how much they like to do that.

As is often the […]

By |2016-03-19T11:49:20-04:00March 19th, 2016|Tags: , , , , , , , , |14 Comments

Vegan Diets to Reduce Colon Cancer Risk

GrünkohlThe latest findings from the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) found that people who ate plant-based diets—which included vegans, lacto-ovo vegetarians and pesco-vegetarians—had a 22% lower risk of colorectal cancer (1).

But when the researchers pulled the subjects apart into more specific groups, the only group of “vegetarians” with a lower risk were the ones who ate fish. Their risk was 43% lower than the omnivores in this study. While vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians also had a lower risk for colon cancer, these findings weren’t statistically significant.

The only other large scale study to […]

By |2015-04-01T12:18:10-04:00April 1st, 2015|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Ten Tips for Staying Happy and Healthy on a Vegan Diet

There is a long list of reasons why people fail on a vegan diet and return to the world of cheese sandwiches and fish fillets. They might have developed overt deficiencies or vague symptoms of poor health. Some ex-vegans say that they experienced depression or foggy thinking or fatigue without animal foods. Others struggled with challenging social situations or with cravings for animal foods.

The following ideas for staying happy and healthy on a vegan diet are all things I’ve written about before, but I wanted to condense them into a sort […]

Omega-3 Fats in Vegan Diets: A Quick Primer

[updated 9/3/20]

There continues to be much confusion among vegans about the differences between the two types of omega-3 fats. If you take supplements of DHA (or DHA and EPA), do you still need to eat flaxseeds? And if you are eating flaxseeds, do you need those DHA supplements?

The short answer is that you definitely need to include foods like flaxseeds that provide essential omega-3 fats and you may need the DHA supplements.

Flaxseeds and a handful of other plant foods provide an omega-3 fat called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA which is an essential nutrient. […]

By |2020-09-03T11:21:38-04:00January 19th, 2012|Tags: , , |57 Comments

More on Omega-3 Fats in Vegan Diets

Based on some emails I received about my blog post from November 17, I realize that there is a little bit of confusion about the different types of omega-3 fats. I want to clear that up so that readers can make the best informed decision about meeting needs for these compounds.
There are two different type of omega-3 fats in foods. We definitely need one of these and may need the other.
Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) is a short-chain omega-3 fatty acid that is an essential nutrient. We absolutely need to have […]
By |2010-11-19T11:24:26-05:00November 19th, 2010|Tags: |10 Comments

Do Vegans Need Supplements of Omega-3 Fats?

New data from the EPIC-Norfolk Study in the U.K. revealed some surprises about blood levels of DHA in vegans. DHA is one of the long-chain fatty acids found primarily in fish oils. Vegans don’t consume any, but in this study, vegan women (although not men) had the highest levels of plasma DHA of all the groups.

Since DHA can be synthesized from another omega-3 fat, alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), one theory is that vegans are more efficient at converting ALA to DHA. And in fact, this study did find that those who don’t eat fish are better converters than those who do, […]

By |2017-11-22T10:36:07-05:00November 17th, 2010|Tags: , |24 Comments
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